Last summer, I was visiting my hometown of Ludington and while I was there, I came across a store that was selling vintage Atari 2600 systems and game cartridges. The memory of playing Space Invaders, Pac-Man and Donkey Kong as a child came rushing back to me. After a quick impulse buy, I took the system home and set up it up to play. My teenage daughters laughed at the simple graphics and the funny sounds and music. The joysticks were sluggish and simple compared to what they were used to with modern video games. In every way possible, this game system was inferior to what they had grown up with. Yet, they were soon playing the games and having a great time. It wasn’t the graphics or the program designs, it was the joy of competing, sharing, and learning how to play the games together that made it so fun. They were experiencing the same enjoyment I had felt 30 years earlier.
As an educator, I’m a believer in using the best technology we have available to us for creating innovative and engaging lessons for our students. However, it’s not the technology that makes the lesson meaningful, it’s the interaction with the teacher, the collaboration with peers, and the chance to be in charge of their learning that makes the difference. Technology can enhance a lesson and provide new tools for students to use, but the real magic happens from the planning and execution by the teacher.
When it comes to video games, I’m all about the Old School Atari games. When it comes to education, I’m all about innovation and technology mixed with Old School techniques of making connections with students, making learning fun and exciting, and making real-world applications. The best educators will always be those that teach students and not just the curriculum. Like my vintage video games, it’s not about the special effects, it’s about the excitement and the memories. Be sure to create that excitement and make those memories with your students!
Old School Latin Phrases
“Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus” – Never tickle a sleeping dragon
“Non est ad astra mollis e terris via” – There is no easy way from the earth to the stars
“Aut viam inveniam aut faciam tibi” – I will either find a way or make one
- Monday, March 26: Student of the Month Assembly (Mindfulness) 9:05 AM, Buchanan Garden Walk-Through with Bill Craig & PTA 2:00-3:00 PM
- Tuesday, March 27: Achievement Team (Benson) 8:30 AM, “Wild About Reading” Assembly 1:30-2:30 PM
- Wednesday, March 28: Reading in the Wild (Science Room), Football Readers in Classrooms 3:00-3:45 PM, Jon & Kristen to Riley for School Improvement Meeting
- Thursday, March 29: Staff Meeting 8:05 (Grade Level Team Meetings, 3rd&4th Grades with Jon for M-Step Meeting), Reading in the Wild (Science Room), LUNCH provided for ALL staff in lounge (vegetarian options too) (Thank you Todd Davis:)
- Friday, March 30: No School – Spring Break Begins!!
- Saturday, April 21: Garden Beautification Day with PTA and Volunteers
- Thursday, April 26: Art Fair (Grades K-4), Music Concert (Grades 1&2), Science Fair Displays for participating students. Kona Ice Truck out front 6:00-8:00 PM
- Monday, April 30: PTA Meeting 7:00 PM
- Friday, May 11: PTA Spring Fling 6:00-8:00 PM
- Saturday, May 19: Garden Work/Time Capsule (Targeted Date)
- Sunday, June 3: PTA Tiger’s Baseball Game
- Friday, June 8: Field Day
- Tuesday, June 12: Kindergarten Music Concert in afternoon
- Wednesday, June 13: 4th Grade Celebration
- Thursday, June 14: All-School Assembly 10:00-11:00 AM, Students dismissed at 12:10
- Friday, June 15: 4th Grade Clap Out 11:30 AM, Students dismissed at 12:10
- Monday, June 18: Teacher Work Day (Optional Report Day)